I want to delete an answered question. When I click "delete", a confirmation prompt pops up discouraging me to do so, but it seems it would still allow me to continue and effectively delete the question still.

However, when I accept, I get an error that the question cannot be deleted because it has answers, and I should flag it for moderator attention.

I cannot recall the confirmation dialog coming up in the past, so I think it's new. In that case, it seems that it doesn't work as intended yet.

The question in question: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/23492447/xpath-fails-when-using-namespaces-but-works-without-namespaces

  • You can delete a question with answers so long as any answer has no or negative score. As soon as any answer has a positive score, the question cannot be deleted. Could an answer have been upvoted between the time you got the prompt and trying to delete it? (btw - a link to the question would help)
    – Oded
    May 6, 2014 at 11:24
  • That is, if any answer had a positive score when you tried to delete it, that prompt shouldn't have come up. Is that the case?
    – Oded
    May 6, 2014 at 11:26
  • @Oded I added the link. Even when I reload the page, the prompt still comes up (so no upvoting happens in the meantime)
    – MarioDS
    May 6, 2014 at 11:28
  • OK, thanks for clarifying. I'm asking around, so those involved could get back to you.
    – Oded
    May 6, 2014 at 11:47
  • @Oded so what's the deal with this? It got status-bydesign but that's not right I think.
    – MarioDS
    May 6, 2014 at 14:28
  • Looks like the wording was intentional (hence, by design), but we are discussing it internally - there are a few of us that agree that the message is not without faults ;)
    – Oded
    May 6, 2014 at 14:30
  • @Oded Good to know, thanks :)
    – MarioDS
    May 6, 2014 at 14:31

2 Answers 2


You can only delete a question if it has no answers with a positive score. If any answer has more upvotes than downvotes or if you have accepted an answer then you can't delete the question.

The popup appears to discourage you from doing so even if you can as someone else in the future might find the question and answer useful.

  • That makes sense, but I'm getting the popup even though there are upvotes and I have accepted. And just to be clear: I've reloaded the page in the meantime as well.
    – MarioDS
    May 6, 2014 at 11:29
  • @MDeSchaepmeester - ah. That wasn't clear from your question.
    – ChrisF Mod
    May 6, 2014 at 11:45

Not wild about encouraging folks to delete their answered questions, or try to delete them, or even flag for deletion. There has traditionally been a lot of complaining and confusion surrounding this. To be clear, I have no problem removing questions like yours that are clearly never going to help anyone else... But we also get a lot of flags from folks who have less admirable reasons for requesting the removal.

The original discussions for this warning assumed it would be omitted in cases where you couldn't actually delete. But while testing it, I realized I rather liked the behavior that exists now: warning folks against deleting answers before advising them to flag.

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